Perspectives on the Cyber ​​Resilience of Central Banks

The cyber resilience of central banks was the subject of a workshop, organized on November 28 and 29, 2022 in Rabat, by Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) and the Bank of England (BoE), as part of the partnership concluded between the two institutions.

This regional seminar brought together around 30 senior executives who represented around twenty Central Banks from Africa and the Middle East, who were able to exchange their experiences and points of view regarding Cybersecurity.

The discussions focused on topics related to the implementation of the cybersecurity strategy, cyber-protection, cyber-governance and cyber-resilience. The discussions also concerned the areas of application of cybersecurity in the management of information systems, macro-prudential supervision and the supervision of financial market infrastructures.

In his opening remarks, the Managing Director of BAM, Abderrahim Bouazza, pointed out that the cooperation between the BoE and BAM has developed steadily over the past few years and has covered many themes including Fintech, small business financing, statistical data management and cyber risk.

This cooperation, continues the CEO of BAM, has recently been extended to a rather special and very relevant theme in view of the current context, that of relations between the Central Bank and Parliament.

“Today, cooperation between our two Institutions is taking a new stepwith this event organized for the first time at regional level on a subject of great importance for central banks. Indeed, cyber-attacks targeting financial institutions and financial market infrastructures are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated, and can entail significant macroeconomic costs, and compromise the ability of central banks to accomplish their missions.“, pointed out the manager, noting that the cyber threat is accentuated in particular by new working methods and new data hosting methods, in particular the Cloud.

Consequently, Abderrahim Bouazza underlines that the Central Banks are adapting their strategies and are now targeting not only cybersecurity, but also cyber-resilience to preserve their digital transformation processes, which must integrate into all development and all innovation, the methods and tools of this cyber-resilience.

The official also considered that central banks are more than ever called upon to ensure the effectiveness of their cyber resilience systems and their good coordination with those of other players in their ecosystem.

And this is what we try to apply at Bank Al-Maghrib to develop and regularly test our Bank’s cyber resilience system, through internal exercises and with the banking community. We are also examining the opportunity to extend these cyber crisis exercises to a regional scale or even to a more global level, via the lever of cooperation, such as the one we are keen to develop with Bank of England.“, he indicated.

In this sense, the DG of BAM insisted on the fact that a reinforced and widened cooperation in this field becomes, more than a good practice, but a necessity for the central banks, because the effective sharing of information is essential. to collectively reduce cyber risks, prevent major cyber incidents and quickly contain them when they occur.

In order to perpetuate their partnership in this area of ​​great importance, the participants therefore agreed to set up a virtual exchange network covering all topics related to cybersecurity.

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